Council joins fight for affordable living
Published on 09 September 2021
Broken Hill has joined an alliance of Councils seeking to make life in regional mining communities more attractive and affordable.
The "More Than Mining" initiative being driven by the allied Councils seeks policy reform to offer 100% exemption from Fringe Benefits Tax for people seeking housing in regional and remote mining communities.
The exemption would apply to rent, owner occupier housing purchase cost, and mortgage interest.
Mayor Darriea Turley AM said it was time mining communities received fair compensation for their contribution to the country's wealth.
"Mining regions deliver a significant portion of country's wealth in GDP, but as we all know, these communities can suffer due to fluctuating commodity prices and other variables related to the mining industry," said Mayor Turley.
"A tax reduction in living expenses would make it more affordable to live in mining communities, attract prospective new buyers and renters, and help stabilise the housing market over time."
Chair of Council's 'Our Economy' Working Group, Councillor Branko Licul, said the tax break could boost population numbers in mining centres and discourage the practice of fly-in fly-out staffing.
"People are more likely to move permanently to a mining community, or rent long-term, if they know the cost of living is going to be cheaper," he said.
"It has the potential to attract new residents, reduce the number of residents leaving, and help strengthen the local economy.
"It would also help make housing more affordable for people outside the mining industry when there is a mining boom and real estate prices spike - it could help level the playing field.
"I think this is a very worthwhile exercise to enact meaningful change for mining communities, and I encourage everyone to visit the website and sign the petition to show their support."
Those wishing to sign the petition, gain more information, or calculate how much regional residents can save, can visit the alliance website at www.morethanmining.com.au
The More Than Mining partners comprise Broken Hill, City of Karratha, City of Kalgoorlie Boulder, Isaac Regional Council, and Mount Isa City Council with additional support from partnering remote mining LGAs including Shire of East Pilbara, Town of Port Hedland, Shire of Ashburton, Shire of Coolgardie, Shire of Leonora.